North Sea Platform Decommissioning


We found a recent article of the Royal Academy of Engineers as regards North Sea platform decommissioning and its link to skills deficiency quite fascinating, and in line with what a number of our clients in the oil & gas industry are experiencing.

The article highlights that decommissioning will be an ongoing activity over the next 30 with an estimate of 500 – 960 new facilities reaching the end of their operational life. Current figures indicate that the UK will have a major shortage of workers skilled in these activities unless there is a significant increase in production of engineering and technical graduates from schools, colleges and universities as well as sustained retention of experienced workers within the industry.

Failures to develop, recruit and retain sufficient resources can be attributed, in part, to:

  1. Lack of resources
  • Experience: as in many industries, experience is valued rather than pure academic background, but industry still needs to attract young people to give them the experience.
  • Recent withdrawal of funding for apprentice schemes; this is already having an impact on the industry, with a resulting shortage of workers in a number of areas to add to the deficit of skilled resources.
2. Lack of retention
  • Competition from within the oil and gas industry worldwide, as well as other industries. Recent recruitment campaigns have been conducted in Aberdeen by global (for example Australian) resource companies offering highly attractive remuneration packages.
  • Poor retention of existing skilled workforce with many moving withing the oil & gas industry, having been enticed to other companies or locations, or to other industries.
The government and Home Office policy-makers better take note….


Founder and Managing Director Anne Morris is a fully qualified solicitor and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

She is a recognised by Legal 500and Chambers as a legal expert and delivers Board-level advice on business migration and compliance risk management as well as overseeing the firm’s development of new client propositions and delivery of cost and time efficient processing of applications.

Anne is an active public speaker, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

About DavidsonMorris

As employer solutions lawyers, DavidsonMorris offers a complete and cost-effective capability to meet employers’ needs across UK immigration and employment law, HR and global mobility.

Led by Anne Morris, one of the UK’s preeminent immigration lawyers, and with rankings in The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, we’re a multi-disciplinary team helping organisations to meet their people objectives, while reducing legal risk and nurturing workforce relations.

Legal Disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct at the time of writing, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

Contact DavidsonMorris
Get in touch with DavidsonMorris for general enquiries, feedback and requests for information.
Sign up to our award winning newsletters!
Find us on: